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The absent human vomeronasal system
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jvkohl
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Post: #1
The absent human vomeronasal system
08-30-2009 9:10 PM

From pheromones to behavior. Tirindelli R, Dibattista M, Pifferi S, Menini A.
Physiol Rev. 2009 Jul;89(3):921-56. Review.

Excerpt from the concluding paragraph with my emphasis added: "...humans as well as other species in which the vomeronasal system is absent can probably detect pheromones via the main olfactory epithelium."

A cursory review of recently published literature would lead virtually anyone to conclude (as have many researchers during the past decade) that there is no functional human VNO.

This fact does not seem to limit the claims of the many products being marketed that indicate their pheromones act via the non-functional human VNO. If marketers so willfully mislead you about how their products are supposed to work, what makes you think that any of their claims (including those regarding pheromone content) is true?

James V. Kohl
http://www.pheromones.com
08-30-2009 9:10 PM
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Post: #2
RE: The absent human vomeronasal system
08-31-2009 9:07 AM

I look at the marketing hype, whether it's about content, route of action, whatever, as marketing hype. That's why I choose to concentrate on products that have a lot of user reviews from folks that I have come to trust. I also expect that if a company is selling a specific molecule that the amounts specified are accurate. That's something that could, if desired, be checked out independently. If a company is just maketing something as "contains x milligrams of pheromones per bottle" I don't really trust that because what they consider a pheromone might not be what I consider a pheromone.

As far as marketing hype goes, I guess I'm pretty jaded. I try to look at it for what it is. It's a claim. I try to remember that any claim has to be tested against the real world results whether it's BP gasoline keeping my car engine cleaner or vitamin c keeping colds under control. There may or may not be validity to either of those claims. Do they work for me is the only thing that I can go by.

An Inuit hunter asked the local missionary priest: "If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?" "No," said the priest, "not if you did not know." "Then why," asked the Inuk earnestly, "did you tell me?"
08-31-2009 9:07 AM
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jvkohl
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Post: #3
RE: The absent human vomeronasal system
08-31-2009 10:22 PM

Marketing hype presents an animalistic picture of human behavior that is a joke, and it explains why most people make jokes about pheromones. "Guaranteed to get you ..." is not what you or I mean by what "works." But that's where the marketers have taken us.

In another thread, I objected to Pezzi's (Science of Sex) misleading ambiguity about the nonfunctional human VNO, and was asked to post something more about this in a different thread. It will be interesting to see comments in this "absent human vomeronasal system thread." Obviously, people who buy into the marketing claims are not going to pay attention. Therefore, the responses here may help me determine whether it is worthwhile to post at PheroTruth. The truth is that there's no functional human VNO.

I've taken a truthful approach to marketing since the launch of my first product (5 years after I got my domain), and have consistently been frustrated by people who don't care for the truth, they just look at the nonsensical claims.

James V. Kohl
http://www.pheromones.com

(08-31-2009 9:07 AM)renny Wrote:  I look at the marketing hype, whether it's about content, route of action, whatever, as marketing hype. That's why I choose to concentrate on products that have a lot of user reviews from folks that I have come to trust. I also expect that if a company is selling a specific molecule that the amounts specified are accurate. That's something that could, if desired, be checked out independently. If a company is just maketing something as "contains x milligrams of pheromones per bottle" I don't really trust that because what they consider a pheromone might not be what I consider a pheromone.

As far as marketing hype goes, I guess I'm pretty jaded. I try to look at it for what it is. It's a claim. I try to remember that any claim has to be tested against the real world results whether it's BP gasoline keeping my car engine cleaner or vitamin c keeping colds under control. There may or may not be validity to either of those claims. Do they work for me is the only thing that I can go by.
08-31-2009 10:22 PM
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Post: #4
RE: The absent human vomeronasal system
09-01-2009 6:35 AM

One result of your posting here has already been to get one reader to take a more serious look at what you have demonstrated regarding the VNO. To be perfectly honest, as a Ptalk member I realized that you researched pheromones and the VNO, but I had never taken the time to really consider why it mattered. I'm reading you with a lot more interest here.

I do think I can understand your frustration. I sell fishing lures. Not too much different from pheromones. In both cases there is a core of people who have gained experience through trial and error and a much larger group who only see the marketing hype and are drawn briefly to something they see as exciting. It's quite impossible to explain to someone who is excited about a miracle lure they saw promoted on ESPN that the company that makes the lure is making absurd claims about why it works. Even when I demonstrate that a company is making contradictory claims the belief in the hype is so strong that people just don't understand. A good example is that in the last few years the a deep red color has been promoted by the same company in two different products for absolutely contradictory reasons. They sell a red monofilament line that they claim is invisible underwater. They also sell red hooks they claim draw strikes because the red color appears as a highly visible blood mark. Both claims can't possibly be true. Do I quit trying to explain this to fishermen who are really looking to get past the hype? Do I keep explaining that there are better lines and hooks? Do I sell the contradictory products anyway because some people can't see past the hype? Yep, it's frustrating world we live in.

An Inuit hunter asked the local missionary priest: "If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?" "No," said the priest, "not if you did not know." "Then why," asked the Inuk earnestly, "did you tell me?"
09-01-2009 6:35 AM
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Phya
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Post: #5
RE: The absent human vomeronasal system
09-01-2009 9:06 AM

Lol, Renny it looks like the lures work, they just catch the wrong fish. Smile
My friends and I talk cars all the time. Recently I've been into bicycles and a lot of the same physical forces are at work. Does that stop my friends from making non-sensical claims of a heavier wheel making it easier start a skid?No, it doesn't. And my explaining how gyroscopic forces the bicycle stay upright while riding hands free doesn't help them ride hands free. Knowledge is only as useful as it is applied correctly.

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma... which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."
-Steve Jobs
(This post was last modified: 09-01-2009 9:10 AM by Phya.)
09-01-2009 9:06 AM
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jvkohl
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Post: #6
Pheromones and fishing lures
09-01-2009 10:17 AM

Renny,

Now that we better understand how marketing hype effects the integration of concepts into our daily life, I will share a "fish" story with you. When you remember this, please be sure to not attribute it to me. In this case, I'm just the messenger.

Davenport, W. (1965) Sexual patterns and their regulation in a society of the southwest pacific. In: Beach, F.A. (ed) Sex and Behavior. (pages 164 207) John Wiley and Sons, Inc.: New York.
p 183. "Body odor are erotic stimulants, particularly the emanations from the woman's genitalia. There is a form of love magic based upon the similarity of vaginal odors to that of fish. Men use a red ground cherry attached to the leader of a trolling line to attract fish. After having caught a fish in this way, the ground cherry is believed to have power to attract women in the same way that it attracted fish. Their vaginas, like the elusive fish, will be attracted to the possessor of the ground cherry."

There is a certain amount of political correctness to be observed in relaying the findings from medical research, perhaps more so than when selling fishing lures (unless you're selling them to women, of course), or when relaying anthropological anecdotes. Also, most people involved in medical research have ethical concerns that go beyond catching the biggest fish.

As a medical laboratory scientist and author of the first book about human pheromones, I have a vested interest in continuing to present the truth, and am appalled by those who seek only to catch a few suckers with their fish stories. On the other hand, without the fish stories of marketers most people might never have heard about human pheromones. So, perhaps I should simply allow them to use worthless bait a while longer.

I'm happy to learn that we share similar concerns and connections across disciplines. I was happy to look up my fish story for you as thanks for acknowledging my research and knowledge base. Hope you have some fun with it.

James Kohl
http://www.pheromones.com


(09-01-2009 6:35 AM)renny Wrote:  I do think I can understand your frustration. I sell fishing lures. Not too much different from pheromones. ...It's quite impossible to explain to someone who is excited about a miracle lure they saw promoted on ESPN that the company that makes the lure is making absurd claims about why it works. Even when I demonstrate that a company is making contradictory claims the belief in the hype is so strong that people just don't understand. ...Do I quit trying to explain this to fishermen who are really looking to get past the hype? Do I keep explaining that there are better lines and hooks? Do I sell the contradictory products anyway because some people can't see past the hype? Yep, it's frustrating world we live in.
09-01-2009 10:17 AM
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jvkohl
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Post: #7
Applying knowledge of human pheromones
09-01-2009 10:32 AM

Are your friends insulted when you challenge their non-sensical claims. Do they attempt to convince you and others that there are magical forces at work besides the more commonly known gyroscopic forces (a "sixth sense" perhaps that ensures your balancing ability)?

I'm glad that Bella's post about Pezzi's book "The Science of Sex" led Tisha to suggest more discussion about science versus opinions in a different thread. In my opinion, it's not very safe to ride hands free, regardless of what magical forces may be keeping you up.

James V. Kohl
pheromones.com

(09-01-2009 9:06 AM)Phya Wrote:  Lol, Renny it looks like the lures work, they just catch the wrong fish. Smile
My friends and I talk cars all the time. Recently I've been into bicycles and a lot of the same physical forces are at work. Does that stop my friends from making non-sensical claims of a heavier wheel making it easier start a skid?No, it doesn't. And my explaining how gyroscopic forces the bicycle stay upright while riding hands free doesn't help them ride hands free. Knowledge is only as useful as it is applied correctly.
09-01-2009 10:32 AM
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Post: #8
RE: Applying knowledge of human pheromones
09-13-2009 7:36 PM

(09-01-2009 10:32 AM)jvkohl Wrote:  Are your friends insulted when you challenge their non-sensical claims. Do they attempt to convince you and others that there are magical forces at work besides the more commonly known gyroscopic forces (a "sixth sense" perhaps that ensures your balancing ability)?

I'm glad that Bella's post about Pezzi's book "The Science of Sex" led Tisha to suggest more discussion about science versus opinions in a different thread. In my opinion, it's not very safe to ride hands free, regardless of what magical forces may be keeping you up.

James V. Kohl
pheromones.com

Sorry to take such a long time to reply. I've been letting myself get lost in the flow of time. Smile No, they are not insulted, we can have disagreements and still be friends. And no, they don't believe in a 'magical' force, they just don't believe that the gyroscopic forces will keep them upright when riding hands free, when those very forces act on them when they are riding 'normally' (ie: with hands).

Haha, as for riding hands free being dangerous, it certainly is more dangerous than riding with hands, all things being equal. However, with enough practice, you can manuver around traffic, pedestrians and other obstacles, as well turn corners and go up and down ramps and driveways, hills, what have you. I regularly bike to class hands free, and that involves much manuvering on campus. I like the little shock factor when someone thinks out loud "How the hell is he doing that?" when I pass by them. Smile

Either way, taking the time to understand what factors are at play are crucial in developing your understanding of any topic. Recently my friend and I have been trying to learn how to do wheelies on bicycles. Just because of the simple fact that our bicycles are fixed gears leads my friend to assume that a different technique is required to wheelie a bicycle than a motorcycle. I asserted that the same physical forces are at work, despite the drivetrain differences. Later we tested our theories, and it turns out I'm right. He's surprised, but I'm not, and that's because I understand the physics behind a wheelie. It may not mean I can perform one well, but that will come with practice. The understanding of the mechanics is still valuable and allows me to make better judgments about what actions to take to make the bicycle perform how I want it to.

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma... which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."
-Steve Jobs
09-13-2009 7:36 PM
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Post: #9
RE: Applying knowledge of human pheromones
09-14-2009 7:47 PM

I'm happy to take your word for it on the physics, because you seem to be presenting a well-rounded picture extending physics for practical (albeit somewhat dangerous) applications. Similarly, my motorcycle enthusiast friends and I discuss various aspects of safer riding, even when pushing the limits, but usually without a lot of physics involved in the conversation. Each of us knows our limits, hopefully --but our limits are defined by our different experiences, and what we have learned from them. Same thing with human pheromones. The more we know the better judgments we can make. The better judgments might someday lead us to be more careful (or not).

James V. Kohl
09-14-2009 7:47 PM
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